Wayanad Congress MP and former party chief Rahul Gandhi was at the receiving end of the ruling BJP dispensation while addressing the fishermen during his visit to Puducherry on Wednesday, called them “farmers of the sea” and talked about the need for a separate ministry for fisheries.

The hitch here is that there is already a fisheries ministry headed by Union Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Giriraj Singh who tweeted in Italian, “Caro Raul (@RahulGandhi), Non esiste un Ministero della pesca separato in Italia. Viene sotto Ministero delle Politiche Agricole e Forestali. http://politicheagricole.it,” which more or less means “Dear Raul, there is no separate Ministry of Fisheries in Italy. It comes under the Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry Policies.”

Rahul Gandhi was talking about the farmers’ protests with the fishermen when he made the remarks.

“You must be wondering why I am talking about farmers at a meeting of fishermen. I consider you as farmers of the sea,” Rahul Gandhi said in English.

He added, “I think to myself, if farmers of the land have a ministry in Delhi then why can’t farmers of the sea have a ministry in Delhi? When we have an issue of farmers we go to the ministry that belongs to the farmers. We go to the Agricultural Minister, but when fishermen have an issue, they do not have a minister to go to. And so I think an important thing we have to do for fishermen is we have to give them a ministry in the central government, so their issues can be raised and their pain can be taken care of.”

The BJP promptly caught the situation with both hands and told Rahul that Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying was formed on 31 May 2019 by the Modi government.

“I’m astonished to know that a party’s leader is unaware of a separate ministry formed for fisheries, animal husbandry and dairy by PM (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) in 2019 and I took oath as its minister. Work is underway in Puducherry and in other parts for the first time,” Giriraj Singh told reporters.

Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying is a newly formed ministry in India. It was formed in May 2019 by Modi government from the department of the same name under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.